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A Closer Look: 'Soul' nominated for three Academy Awards

Disney's animated feature film "Soul,' features the journey of Joe - a half-time music teacher and wanna-be jazz musician. The film stars Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx and SNL alumna Tina Fey. “Soul,” has been nominated for three Academy Awards and this coming Sunday it will vie with other films for Oscar gold.

The meat of “Soul,” is the quest of Joe as he tries to become a Jazz musician. It is the only thing that lights up his life and he believes that it is his destiny to become a professional jazz musician. But while walking down the street, everything comes crashing down and Joe will learn a completely new meaning to the word soul.

“Soul,” is another Disney film that is really just a treat for anyone to see. Adults and children alike will love this film. The story about a Jazz Musician may seem a strange pick for an animated film from Disney - but that is the genius about this film.

“Soul’s” first Oscar nomination is for Sound. This is an excellent choice and it is very rare for an animated film to garner an Oscar nomination for Sound. This is the first year that Sound and Sound Mixing have been combined and will no longer have separate categories for Oscar nominations. This minimizes the amount of Sound Oscar statuettes to be handed out each year, but will surely make Oscar watchers happier. How many times did you ask - what is the difference between Sound and Sound Mixing?

Soul is a musical within an animated film. The music doesn’t feature any vocals but the complexity of adding music as a main feature to an animated film is not easy and deserves credit. Creating the sound for “Soul,” are Ren Klyse, Coya Elliott, and David Parker. Klyse and Parker have also been nominated for their sound work on the film “Mank,” as well.

Unfortunately, the film most likely to win the Oscar for Best Sound is “The Sound of Metal.” An no, it's not because it has the word "sound" in the name!

The second nomination for “Soul” is for its musical score. Music is an integral part to "Soul." And it features a first-rate score written by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste. Reznor and Ross together won an Oscar in 2011 for “The Social Network.” This is the first Oscar nomination for Jon Batiste - a seasoned Jazz musician as well.

What makes an Oscar-winning score? It is a score that has become synonymous with the title of the film. For example: When you think of the film “Born Free,” do you think of the music from the film? I do. John Barry wrote the Oscar-winning score for “Born Free.” He went on to win four more Academy Awards for his amazing work.

Indeed “Soul,” has the best score of the year and the film depends upon the score more than the other nominees. So watch for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to be honored with their second Academy Award and Jon Batiste to join the Oscar-winners club for his work in “Soul.”

Lastly, “Soul,” is also nominated for Best Animated Feature. The film is directed by Pete Docter and Kemp Powers. Pete Docter has already won two Academy Awards for the animated feature films “Up,” and “Inside Out.” Kemp is not a nominee for “Soul,” as the nomination is shared with co-director Pete Docter and Producer Dana Murray, but have no fear, Kemp is nominated for his screenplay talents on “One Night in Miami.”

“Soul” is the strongest contender among the other nominated animated films: “Onward,” “Over the Moon,” “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” and “Wolfwalkers.” Watch for this soulful animated film to win Best Animated Feature as well.

“Soul” is rated PG and can be seen on Disney+.


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